Report shows bridges and roads in disrepair are costing drivers billions

Photo Courtesy: Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — A report from TRIP, a national transportation research group, shows 13% of bridges in the state are structurally deficient and 7% are obsolete. The report shows roads are also in bad shape. 22% of roads locally and state-maintained are in poor condition.

Rocky Moretti with TRIP says, “Here in the Jackson area 44% of roads, these are major roads you drive on after you’ve left your neighborhood, major roads of the region, the pavements in poor condition. That’s a very high number. More than 2 out of 5 miles the pavement is giving you a rough ride. Well, that’s not only beating you up as a driver but it’s beating up your vehicle.”

The report shows deficient, congested roads cost drivers across the state about $2.25 billion each year. In Jackson, they cost drivers nearly $1,900 annually.

The Mississippi Economic Council, during a news conference Wednesday, said they’re putting the problem in legislators hands.

The problem is also impacting Mississippi businesses. Joe Sanderson, CEO of Sanderson Farms, says, “We have 200 tractor trailers that are on the road 18 to 20 hours a day.”

The drivers in those tractor trailers get a good look at the roads. Sanderson says, “We dodge posted bridges and reroute trucks all day and all night long. We know the problem.”

The report from TRIP shows $91 billion in goods are shipped from Mississippi by truck. Another $104 billion worth of goods are shipped in. The report also outlines traffic fatalities, with Mississippi having the 4th highest fatality rate in the nation. TRIP estimates that road features like lighting and lane markings contribute to 1/3 of fatal crashes.

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